By Assemblymember Phil Ting
The coronavirus emergency has disrupted the daily lives of individuals and families, many of whom are now struggling to make ends meet. I’d like to share some financial resources available to help communities through this pandemic:
California Employment Development Department (edd.ca.gov)
• Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides a partial replacement for lost wages, up to $450 a week, depending on prior earnings. Eligible workers receive benefits in approximately three weeks. The Federal CARES Act extends UI to 39 weeks, plus adds another $600 per week for four months, bringing the maximum benefit to $1,050 per week.
• Disability Insurance may be available for sick or quarantined individuals with a medical certification, paying 60-70% of wages, up to $1,300 a week.
• People unable to work because they are providing care for a sick or quarantined person may be eligible for Paid Family Leave.
Gig workers are likely eligible for UI benefits, but may not be immediately deemed eligible upon application and will need to file an appeal.
Self-employed individuals may qualify for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which helps cover business owners and workers who don’t ordinarily qualify for UI. This brand new program is slated to open for applications and go live on the EDD website this week.
In addition, the call center hours at EDD have recently expanded to meet increased demand – now open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-(833) 978-2511 for general inquiries or technical support.
• Some people have begun seeing their federal stimulus checks deposited electronically into their bank accounts. Depending on income, it could be as much as $1,200 per person, plus $500 per dependent. Paper checks should start going out soon but could take months to receive because the IRS can only print 5 million per week. Check the IRS website (irs.gov) to find the status of your stimulus check through a new tracking tool, update your bank or mailing information to get your check faster, and get answers to frequently asked questions;
• Gov. Newsom recently announced financial help for undocumented immigrants – $500 per adult with a maximum $1,000 per household. Details will be shared shortly, with the application process opening in May.
California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)
CalEITC is an ongoing program that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic. I worked to expand it as chair of the Assembly Budget Committee because it is an effective anti-poverty tool that puts money back into the pockets of people who need it the most. If you earned less than $30,000 in 2019, you could qualify for tax refunds of up to $2,982. New this year is also the Young Child Tax Credit, which adds another $1,000 on top of the CalEITC if you have a child under age 6.
In order to receive the money, Californians must file a tax return, even if they are not otherwise required to. Visit CalEITC4me.org for more information or to get help filing your taxes.
I hope this list of resources helps, and you can find more on my website: a19.asmdc.org. My District Office also remains available to help answer questions and assist with casework – call (415) 557-2312. When the Legislature reconvenes, one of my top priorities will be AB-828, my bill to prevent mass evictions and foreclosures by allowing the courts to set up repayment plans for back rent and mortgage payments for residents whose incomes were impacted by the coronavirus.
I encourage you to keep staying at home and wearing face coverings if you need to run an essential errand. We are doing a great job of flattening the curve and must stay the course until it is safe.
Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the west side of San Francisco along with the communities of Broadmoor, Colma and Daly City. He can be reached at (415) 557-2312 or at email@example.com. For more information and updates, visit https://a19.asmdc.org.